Born on March 1, 2003 in Osaka.
At his age 5, Kent bigan to play (acoustic) guitar which was given as a Christmas gift, as he told his parents that he wants to get his own guitar.
He sings with guitar for the firt one year and his repertoire was Japanese rock and pops hit songs. At his age, he listen to an acoustic guitar instrumental tune by Kotaro Oshio who is a superstar (in acoustic guitar music scene) who has made a contract with SME (Sony Music) by chance and it changed Kent’s life.
At the time, Kent actually declared his family as “I will go as an acoustic guitarist (like Kotaro Oshio) from now on!!”, although Kent doesn’t remember that at all.
Watching Kotaro’s videos on YouTube, he has been copying many original songs of Kotaro as perfectly as it surprise Kotaro himself.
And Kent was copying many repertoire by many foreign fingerstle solo guitarists, such as Michael Hedges, Don Ross, Andy McKee, Antoine Dufour, Tommy Emmanuel to name a few.
About his age 10, people heard that there is a kid who can play acoustic solo guitar very well in Osaka and Kent was offered for many music events in Osaka area.
At his age 12, he released his debut album entitled “FIRST STEP” on an independent label in Kyoto, Slice of Life Records who released many foreign and Japanese solo acoustic guitar albums such as Erik Mongrain, Laurence Juber to name a few. Kotaro Oshio invited Kent as a special guest for his popular radio music program “OSHI-TEMO HEE-TEMO” right after the album was out.
In April, 2017, as his age 14, Kent attended for the first time to the National Fingerstyle guitar competition’s final national tournament in Japan, 17th annual FINGERICKING DAY 2017 and won in the competition as the youngest grand champion in the history.
His first album FIRST STEP moved not only many pro’s pro musicians such as Tommy Emmanuel and Andy McKee but George Lawden who is a legenday luthier of Lawden Guitars. Mr. Lowden built up a brand new guitar for Kent after he asked Kent about his favorite woods of top, side and back of guitar. As a result, 6 months later, Kent got a Lowden F-35 (around 1M USD) with an inlay of a letter KENT on the 12 fret as a gift from Mr. Lowden.
In May, 2017, Kent released second solo album entitled “2” with 13 songs of his original arrangements and 1 original composition “Desert Island”. His solo guitar play on those original arrangements for fingerstyle guitar with no overdub surprised many pro musicians, music media and (of course) music fans. Besides, most of the songs were what Kent learned from hit songs in 1970s.
Kent got some interviews by Acoustic Guitar Magazine which is issued by one of major publishing companies, Rittor Music and Acoustic Guitar Book by other major publishing company, Shinko Music. And
AKUSTIK GITARRE which specializes for acoustic guitar music in Germany did an interview with Kent.
In August 2017, Kent was invited a dressing room of Tommy Emmanuel
between his 1st and 2nd show. Kent asked Tommy to his guitar at the room and played his original arrangement of “Drive My Car”, the Beatles’ song from their “Rubber Soul” album. After he finished the song, Tommy requested him to play the song for his 2nd show. Tommy introduced Kent as a special guest at the end of the 2nd show and Kent played the song for the capacity audience that night.
In early summer, 2017 Kent was asked a Facebook friend request by a person has the same name of formerly member of EW&F (Earth Wind & Fire), Al McKay, who was a legendary guitarist at their golden era and a co-writer of their big hit song “September”. Kent didn’t know if he is a real Mr. McKay. After a while, the person is Al McKay himself who was moved Kent’s guitar play on YouTube when he found it by chance.
When Kent uploaded a short version of September (by EW&F) as a new original arrangement on Facebook timeline, Mr. McKay added
“LIKES!”. In September 2017, Mr. McKay invited Kent to a show his band AL McKAY ALLSTARS at a venue in Osaka. Kent brought his guitar with him to play a full version of “September” for Mr. McKay at his dressing room. Although he was going to do that when he was actually invited to the room by his manager, he had no enough time as it took much more time than he expected to be interviewed for a local FM radio station. So Kent had to give up to play the song. But Mr. McKay requested Kent to play the song at their encore. Kent did a very good job in a front of houseful audience.
In the same month, Kent was offered by Kaname Nemoto who is the
Leader of legendary Japanese rock/pop band STARDUST REVUE to perform to open for their concert at open aired venue and Kent play solo guitar with an introduction by Kaname to 2,600 audience.
In October 2018, Kent released his 3rd solo album “My Favorite Songs” which includes his 11 original arrangements such as “Hotel California (Eagles)”, “Thriller (Michael Jackson)”, “Jojo (Boz Scaggs)”, “I Wish (Stevie Wonder)”, “I.G.Y. (Donald Fagen)”, “September (EW&F)” and 1 original composition “Midnight in Bogota”. Many music media and pro musicians spoke Kent and the new album very highly. Especially “Thriller” and “Hotel California” are always 2 of his highlight at his solo concert.
In 2019, he has received various offers for his solo concert and special guest appearances by a several concert booking agencies not only in Japan but in foreign countries. His appearances for 5 big music events in Japan in April through August and 2 concert tours in Asia (in Hong Kong in August and China in October) has been settled.
Trying to be compatible with study as a high school student and musical actions as an artist, he has been performing 2-hours (with intermission) solo concert in all over Japan. As Andy McKee said, Kent will be one of the best and will carry the Fingerstyle guitar torch well into the future!
KENT is by far the best musician I have heard for many years.. please tell Kent I listened to him play and felt the joy HE feels when he plays his guitar...it is obvious that he loves to play.... and he plays with great feeling and SKILL! Hooray for Kent.. I am a fan now!!
Kent sounds like a great young player! I think he'll be one of the best and will carry the Fingerstyle guitar torch well into the future!
Alex de Grassi
Kent is not only a technical prodigy, he is a natural musician with the expressive maturity of someone well beyond his years? very impressive!
I'm very impressed by Kent Nishimura's album. What a great player at the age of 12! I can't wait to hear more and I'm exited to watch his further developement.
Particularly for a guitarist so young his playing was amazingly clean and confident on every track. The liner notes said there was no overdubbing on the cd and that is very impressive too.
He really is an extraordinary talent and I think he has s bright future.